On October 29, more than 25 referral agency representatives, community members, current and future foster parents and KidsPeace leaders spent the morning visiting the new Foster Care and Community Programs office in Alexandria, VA. KidsPeace President and CEO Will Isemann addressed the group and said he was delighted with the turnout of concerned visitors. A former foster child also spoke and told the audience about her struggles when she was in the foster care system. Pat O'Brien of "You Gotta Believe" in New York City spoke about the importance of placing older children and teens who often have a difficult time finding permanence and loving families to guide them to adulthood. In the afternoon, Pat presented a complementary training to 16 local agency members, providers and community partners who learned about Pat's successful efforts to find foster and adoptive homes for teens in New York.

Spanish TV station Telemundo covered the open house for its 6:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. newscasts and also posted the story on its website, spreading the message that there is a dire need for foster families in Northern Virginia, particularly bilingual Hispanic families. Also in attendance were staff from local departments of social services, members of SCAN VA (Stop Child Abuse Now), Carmen Fernandez of HACAN (Hispanics Against Child Abuse and Neglect) Rosalia Fajardo of PEATC, Barry Londeree from Congressman Jim Moran's staff and Pat Donnelly of CWLA.

Will Isemann commented that he was happy for the large turnout and hopes that KidsPeace will fill a large void in the NOVA area. "KidsPeace has been caring for children in need since 1882," Isemann said. With more than 40 foster care offices around the country, KidsPeace will fill a void for the foster children of Northern Virginia and apply our outstanding matching process to the foster parents and children in this area. We strongly believe that careful matching results in fewer unsuccessful placements and happier families."

For more information on foster parenting and children who are waiting for loving homes, contact KidsPeace Foster Care and Family Services at5100 Leesburg Pike, Suite 302, Alexandria, VA 22302, 571-403-9260, or complete and submit our online form.

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KidsPeace President and CEO addresses visitors at open house